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Old 01-18-2013, 10:30 AM
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Comp. obedience - Prong Collar

I am thinking about getting a prong collar to improve Molly's heeling. From what I've read, I feel that it is almost necessary to use a prong collar to get a nice, polished heel. Is it possible to achieve it without one?

I guess I'm a little worried that the collar might diminish her love for training, especially for something she already isn't too thrilled about, like figure 8s. However, I've read how much a prong collar could improve a dog's heeling...

Does anyone have any insight? I will also ask my trainer next week.

(Just to be clear, the collar will only be used during training and not on walks.)
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:39 AM
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Talk to your trainer.

The only reason I would put a prong on Bertie is if that level of committment to heeling is not completely there from him. And this won't be until he's grown up anyway.

I put a prong on Jacks and do from time to time to brush up on that committment.

By committment, I mean that if the dog shifts into lower gear. Like - yeah, he's with me, but kinda daydreaming. His pace isn't as crisp as it should be. He's not focused as tightly as he should be, etc.

The collar alone will not fix those problems. You need to really reinforce that attention and focus you get when the dog is wearing that prong, otherwise you may have a dog who only offers that singular focus while the prong is digging into his scalp.

*** One suggestion as far as f8 heeling. You can definitely put a prong on her, but also stick a toy under your arm or down your pants to toss or drop as a reward at any given time or do the treat toss releases (in front if your dog is a lagger, behind if she's a forger). One thing our instructor recommended way back and I wish I'd stuck to it better, but she said never practice complete 8's while the dog is still learning. You will release at any given point and this trains the dogs to pay attention.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:50 AM
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It is possible to get nice heeling on a dog without a prong, there are plenty of people who have done so.

However, I really like using a prong, I've never seen negative effects when I've used one. It is so much easier to enforce correct heel position with a prong than any other collar - it can be done with just the flick of a finger on the leash.

I really like Janice Demello's video Cruise Control for Power Heeling. It shows you how to use a prong collar and your upper body movement to lead a dog in heeling
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:57 AM
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Comp. obedience - Prong Collar

Keep in mind, a prong (at least the one I have) is not designed to choke the dog, or poke the neck. If grabs the scruff, just like a mother does to her pups.

Everyone uses a prong at my training facility. It' not a requirement there, just a recommendation.

As I said in another comment yesterday, its important to have someone who knows what they are doing size it, show you how to put it on, and demonstrate how to use it.


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Old 01-18-2013, 11:03 AM
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And get one with the small size prongs, not the medium
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:11 AM
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Thanks to OP and all responses for an interesting thread... I love learning new things on this forum.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vhuynh2 View Post
I am thinking about getting a prong collar to improve Molly's heeling. From what I've read, I feel that it is almost necessary to use a prong collar to get a nice, polished heel. Is it possible to achieve it without one?
It is certainly not necessary for a polished heel. If you don't feel good using one on Molly, don't. I train at one center where nobody uses a prong, and I certainly see a ton of incredibly precise, polished heeling.

In my experience, precise rewarding creates precise behavior. However, I have not titled a dog in competition obedience, so take what I have to say with that in mind.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:20 AM
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Our trainer also recommends (quite adamantly) that you buy the German version of the prong collar, NOT the US made kind. According to her, the German ones have bent prongs and grab the scruff, the US ones have straight prongs that poke.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loisiana View Post
And get one with the small size prongs, not the medium

Buy the small and just add the extra prongs. I used them with my GSDs and Great Pyrs, and am now considering using them for my goldens. They did not hate them at all. You can tighten one around your arm, and see that the pressure goes all around, and it doesn't hurt.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:30 AM
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Our trainer also recommends (quite adamantly) that you buy the German version of the prong collar, NOT the US made kind. According to her, the German ones have bent prongs and grab the scruff, the US ones have straight prongs that poke.
I don't think I have ever seen the straight ones. Thanks for this info.
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